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Arthur & Son photographic studio

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Catalogue record

Creator: Arthur & Son

Object Source: Arthur collection

Place of Creation: Mount Gambier

Date of creation : ca.1930-1970

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Photograph

Donated by Eric Arthur and reproduced from the Arthur Family Photographic Collection

Garnet William Arthur was born in Ballarat and trained in Victoria as a photographer. Looking for a place to operate a studio, he arrived in Mt Gambier in 1904 and established his photographic business. After his eldest son, Colin, a member of the Royal Australian Air Force, was killed during World War Two, another son, Eric, joined Garnet in the business.

The Arthur & Son studio operated in Commercial Street, Mount Gambier, next to the Fidler & Webb department store. The studio offered photography and photographic supplies, as well as selling souvenirs, chinaware, booklets and photographic prints of well-known Mt Gambier scenes for tourists.

In addition to operating a studio where photographs of families, children, debutantes and wedding groups were taken, the Arthurs also photographed various events and people around the district, as shown by the selection of photographs displayed here, featuring local people and businesses in the 50s and 60s. The photo to the right shows a young man receiving his prize as winner of the 'Woolworths draw your dad' competition. Of the other photos, one showing a woman who had won a sewing machine, was taken in the All Brands grocery store. It shows two of the store's staff members and various goods on display. Another photo shows three young male apprentice mechanics in their workshop.

Garnet Arthur retired in 1962. After this his son Eric continued to operate the business under the name, the Arthur Studio, until his retirement in 1989. More than 6500 photographs taken by the studio were donated by Eric Arthur to the State Library in 2005. Altogether this collection of photographs provides a unique visual history of the people, places and events in the Mount Gambier region, spanning the decades from the 1930s to the 1970s.


Further reading

Arthur & Sons, Mount Gambier in Industries of the South-East of South Australia compiled, photographed and wholly set up and printed in South Australia by The Mail Newspapers Ltd., Adelaide, S. Aust.: The Newspapers, 1930. p. 114.

BRG 347 - photographs taken by Arthur & Son photography firm

Death of Mr. Arthur in Border Watch, Mount Gambier, S. Aust: Andrew Frederick Laurie, August 16, 1979, p.2

Hill, Les R, Mount Gambier : a brief history of its discovery, founding and development together with a topical survey and directory to points of interest, institutions, industries, near-by towns, etc., compiled by Les R. Hill, Mount Gambier, S. Aust. : The Border Watch, 1970

O'Connor, Pam and Mayell, Jan, A most suitable place, Mount Gambier : from crater and cave, Mount Gambier, S.A. : P.A. O'Connor and J.L. Mayell, 1997


Trove: Missing Aircraftman, The Advertiser, February 14, 1941, p. 19

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